I read in the Weekly this morning that Paul Prensky passed away last Saturday night.
I met Paul long before I worked at Saturday Market, back when I used to put together the Democratic Party of Lane County newsletter. But I knew him best as a constant presence at Saturday Market. He had this way of completely irritating me and being amusingly endearing at the same time. That crusty old dude digging through the trash cans for leftover pad thai? That was Paul. That incredibly loud clapping just behind the beat at the stage? That was coming from Paul too. The guy with the crazy ass plan of how he was going to put together a Ken Kesey Appreciation Hour on the Market Stage, and I really neeeeded to give him the time? Yes, that was Paul talking me into it. He actually talked me into it. And it worked out really wonderfully, with an oddball assortment of folks, including SLUG Queen Radia (in her Cynthia Beal disguise) as M.C. and Mountain Girl reading Kesey bits and remembering him in general.
Really, Paul’s not a guy I expected to get all nostalgic about, but as I reflect on the hole he’ll leave at Market and in the community, I really miss him already. Guess this is my version of the Paul Prensky Appreciation Hour. Have a nice rest, Paul, you and your big heart deserve it.